Day 3 and fortunate destiny
Ventas de Naron Travel Blog› entry 6 of 16 › view all entries
Of course, it's late when I wake up. I mean, it was 2 a.m. when I got to bed last night, and I WAS at a witch hunt. Must be Thursday, again ;) . Ah, life ain't easy.
Outside it must have been raining for it's cloudy and the air is fresh. I meet Jose-Luis at the bar and we have breakfast. Though his feet are hurt with blisters, he wants to make it all the way to Palas de Rei today, that's about 30 km. I don't want to walk that far, I guess 20 km is my limit, and I settle for Ventas de Naron, where Jose has recommended an albergue. He also wants to call me a taxi to take my backpack, it's a common thing on the Camino and a good business for taxi-drivers. But Jose has to run an errand, and after saying goodbye leaves me with Kristina who speaks perfect German.
Portomarin lays by a river, and there's a steep climb to the city center. I find a shop with a Taxi sign outside and go to ask for a backpack transport. The lady wants 12 €, and on my asking explains that usually it's 3 € when there's a group pick-up of backpacks at 9 a.
I continued my walk freed from the weight on my shoulders, and it is SUCH a relieve! What a difference! Especially felt on that steep climb through the woods just outside of Portomarin.
After a couple of kilometres, I run into Jose-Luis, who is sitting by the road tending to his feet. We continue walking together, and suddenly I don't feel so alone anymore, and it most probably doesn't have to do anything with my backpack, which is kinda relieving, since I don't like to be attached to things. After a while I see that he is faster than me, and we split. Free Bird again, and I start to enjoy it. The countryside is beautiful, and the sun is getting warmer, it's a perfect Camino-day!
In Gonzar I stop for lunch, and when getting on the road again, I again run into Jose-Luis.
I also tell Jose-Luis about Sergio and his service, and how relieving it is to walk without the backpack. Jose-Luis decides to give it a try, since his feet are killing him. He gives Sergio a call, and they make an appointment in the next village we'll be at. It's Hospital de Cruz, and we make a stop to wait for Sergio. Here two Spanish women join us, Fernanda and Mireia, and we all take a rest by the road. Sergio and Ana arrive, and a lively conversation starts among the Spaniards. Here's another observation I've made during my trip: a cliche has been confirmed.
Sergio takes Jose-Luis' backpack, and we continue walking. He still wants to make it to Palas de Rei, which is where Fernanda and Mireia are going, too. But as we arrive in Ventas de Naron, the sky turns black and we hear thunder. Galicia is the most rainy region of Europe, and when the rain comes down it usually comes as a quick and heavy storm. I find my albergue O'Cruceiro, and in a heartbeat Jose-Luis decides to stay here as well. The women continue to Palas de Rei, now wrapped up in rain capes, and we say goodbye.
As quick as it had begun, as quick it stopped. The landlady showed us to our albergue. It's a seperate house with a room with 6 or 7 bunk beds in it, and just 1 bathroom. Noone else is here, and I keep wondering where all the Holy-Year-pilgrims are. But later another two men join us, they are bikers from Basque. The one with the incredibly beautiful blue eyes (hey, I'm a girl, bare with me :)) introduces himself as Gaizka, and after a heartbeat of processing this information, I apologize to him for I most probably will not be able to memorize his name.
Later, another Basque biker joins us, Eduardo, arriving wet and tired. Bad fortune for him today: he drove into a river and broke his finger. The photo of this mishap is passed around and it is NOT a nice sight. Yet another not-nice sight is Jose-Luis taking care of his blisters. It looks like surgery, and I am not able to provide any details about this mishap.
Later, in the bar we gather for a drink before dinner. Spaniards seem to drink a lot, as Jose said, at this hour it's tradition ;) Here I try another speciality: Cider. A sparkling, light drink made of apples. The taste reminds me of Radler, a mixture of beer and Sprite. It's good. On the counter there's the newspaper, and I take a look at the weather map, the only thing that's of any interest to me on this trip. Jose-Luis takes it and offers to read it to me. "No, thanks." I reply. "Unless it's the apocalypse, there's nothing I wanna know about what's going on out there." Taking the papers, Jose-Luis' green eyes (behind those long eyelashes :)) sparkle, and he says just one word: "Football." Oh, of course, naturally.
At dinner, the landlady won't let us starve, putting a big bowl of Caldo Galego in the middle of the table. Then we have fish with fries and eggs, and of course dessert. Unfortunately, the bikers don't speak any English, except for Eduardo who tries really hard to put a sentence together. Fortunately, Jose-Luis serves as my interpreter again, and I'm eternally grateful to him for that. I notice that the more I listen to them speak, the more words I pick up. By the end of my trip I will be able to put simple, and most certainly grammatically incorrect, sentences together :) . The evening ends with - guess what - homemade brandies (!) Yesterday, as we were taking photos at Jose's bar, I remarked that every photo I had taken so far with other pilgrims, was us drinking.
I'm so tired, that I don't want to worry about spending the night in a room with four strange men ... something I'd most certainly do, if I were anywhere else but on the Camino de Santiago.